What did I read? A couple of GREAT books from my "to be read" pile that I left as end-of-year reads. The first book I read Friday night, and the one that really impacted me the most?
We The Animals by Justin Torres
- I would say, why oh why did I wait until the end of the year to read this little book? On the one hand I want to kick myself for waiting, but then... it was the perfect time to read it too. We the Animals is not a perfect book, but my goodness this debut novel by Justin Torres certainly makes an impact! I will probably review it or talk about it in January because I think I have to, but yes... a little gem. (2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Then of course I picked up some Christmas related romance novellas, and I went with these:
A Regency Christmas VII
- From this anthology, I read The Christmas Ghost by Sandra Heath, The Rake's Christmas by Edith Layton, and The Surprise Party by Mary Balogh. These short novellas were perfect. They got me into the holiday spirit as I readied myself for our lovely Christmas Eve celebration with family and friends. (1995 Signet)
Lone Star by Josh Lanyon & Winter Knights by Harper Fox
- As part of the Men Under the Mistletoe anthology, both of these stories are second chance-at-love stories that take place during Christmas and both of them have that bit of the "miracle" about them. Josh Lanyon's Lone Star, is the story of two childhood friends, a ballet dancer and a Texas Ranger, whose love ended a long time ago when they were young men. His story has a western flavor because of setting, although not necessarily a western theme. A Lanyon-style romance without a mystery to solve at the end. Harper Fox's White Knights is a contemporary Arthurian tale set in Northumberland. As always I enjoyed her characters' struggles and darkish writing style. There are second chances, and then there are second chances... and Fox's characters certainly find out what the term means in this Christmas story. (2011, Carina Press)
And I finished a couple of anthologies I began reading earlier:
Best Gay Stories 2011 edited by Peter Dubé
- This is an anthology I began reading a couple of months ago and kept on reading slowly. There are some excellent novellas in here. One of my favorite stories by Sandra McDonald is included, and of course other writers whose works I've come to really enjoy as well. I actually became interested in reading the anthology after reading the "blurb" and Mr. Dubé's focus for this anthology. (2011 Lethe Press)
When we tell our own stories, it becomes clear that we’ve moved well past the sentimental coming out story, the boy-meets-boy romance, the dangers and pleasures of sexual adventure, and we’ve done it without having to abandon them--because those things still happen and are still important. But we’ve found new ways of thinking about them, and have more experience to share, a deeper understanding of them, and we’ve added an array of other stories, from other parts of our lives, and dreams, and troubles to them. We’ve moved past the “gay story” and towards “gay stories.”The other anthology I finished is erotica!
Three to Tango with
Emma Holly, Lauren Dane, Megan Hart, Bethany Kane
- This is another anthology I began reading a while back and just finished off! Now, I can tell you that I most definitely have favorites from this collection of novellas where threesomes (M/M/F) give it its name. For me those two stories are Dirty/Bad/Wrong by Lauren Dane and Flipping for Chelsea, the hot, hot story by Emma Holly. Of course, Megan Hart's Just One Night and Bethany Kane's On the Job fit the name of this anthology to the "t" and they are enjoyable as well. So you can pick and choose, but all are good erotic reads. (2011, Berkley Heat)